Trump picks legendary Marine general for next Secretary of Defense: James Amos
WASHINGTON, DC – President-elect Donald Trump decided to look to the Marine Corps for his next Secretary of Defense, and he has found a promising candidate in legendary retired Marine Gen. James "Tamer" Amos.
Amos, who served as Marine commandant from 2010 to 2014, will be the first Marine ever to head the Department of Defense, overturning the previous policy of just giving the Marines leadership of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and all relevant Combatant Commands.
The announcement came from Trump's Twitter feed on Monday morning, which brought up common military complaints as being more of the same: "Other candidates repeated same old lines: Morale low. Tattoo policy is dumb. Leaders haven't kept faith w/troops. Amos has fresh perspective!"
Amos edged out other potential candidates for the position, which included retired Army Gen. Jack Keane and retired Marine Gen. James Mattis. Keane declined the position due to family reasons, while Mattis was ruled out due to his controversial spot in Marine lore that he earned by winning battles, and admitting that he enjoys killing assholes who beat up women.
According to a senior source inside Trump's transition team, who leaked the information on the condition that we not name her, Amos met with Trump over the weekend and impressed the President-elect with their similar views on dealing with morale and the press.
"Amos told the President-elect that the biggest problem in the military is really troops complaining on social media," the source revealed. "He said that, as a businessman, if Trump ever had an employee like that he'd fire him, and probably sue him for violating his non-disclosure agreement."
"Then he told [Trump] that his first act should be to blacklist the entire Washington press corps. Amos told him, 'You don't need a press corps. I never had a press corps. You create your own media and give them exclusive access.'"
Amos also praised Trump for his "Make America Great Again" slogan, drawing parallels to his own 'Heritage Brief' within the Marine Corps, which managed to solve the problems of suicide, sexual assault, drug use, rampant infidelity, and indiscipline by just forcing Marines to live in the barracks under constant 24/7 video surveillance and roving Duty NCO and fire watch patrols.
Amos also endorsed Trump's policy of using his Twitter feed to counter bad news by just changing the subject to something inflammatory and irrelevant. "Cutting 20,000 Marines? Make a uniform change!" Amos said. "Your staff leaks your private thoughts to the Marine Corps Times? Unisex dress blues cover!'"
Amos has already vowed to continue that approach as Secretary of Defense by conducting a DoD-wide search to find whoever ate all the strawberries in the mess last night.
As Commandant, Amos was famous for being in touch with the concerns of his troops. In 2014, for example, he brought back rolled sleeves after an unpopular previous commandant removed them over the protests of the entire Marine Corps three years earlier.
Since his retirement, Amos has headed up projects like the Dependent Accountability Act, which prosecutes military spouses under the Uniform Code of Military Justice, and the Retirement Nonjudicial Punishment Act, a change in US law that brings charges of insubordination against retired generals.
In addition to Amos' military experience, Trump was also impressed by his time in the private sector as a commercial airline pilot from 1979-1981.
He apparently said privately that while other Marines were wasting their time crashing helicopters into the Iranian desert, Amos was responsible for maintaining order by pressing buttons that lit up lights that told people told what to do, experience that clearly influenced his time as commandant.
Defense experts say that Amos can take up the post as soon as he receives a waiver from Congress over his failure to complete The Basic School in 1972.
Duffel Blog writer Dark Laughter contributed to this article.